U.S. Soccer is repealing its policy that requires its players to “stand respectfully” during the national anthem.
The U.S. Soccer federation’s national council voted on the matter during a virtual conference on Saturday, with 70% of the ruling body voting to make the repeal permanent.
The rule was put into place in 2017 after Megan Rapinoe showed her support for Black Lives Matter and social injustice by following the Colin Kaepernick-inspired method of protest before a game.
The U.S. Soccer’s board decided to lift the rule last summer a month after the death of George Floyd sparked national outcry and continued to expose the racism and injustice within law enforcement.
Many athletes and teams in the NWSL knelt during the national anthem this past season to continue to show support for Black lives and racial injustice during the time in which the restriction was temporarily lifted.
Protest during the national anthem has been the center of controversy in the sports world since Kaepernick first did it in 2016.
Earlier in February, it was reported that the Dallas Mavericks were not playing the anthem at all before games, but have since resumed with fans back in attendance.